I grew up in the midst of the collectability gold rush. When I was young, sports card & comic collecting were front and center. Stories of our parent’s collections, now beyond monetary worth, being used as “mufflers” on the two wheeler to beef up that muffler sound kept us awake at night. So we frantically collected everything we could get our hands on, as our folks instilled into us the value it could hold in the future. However, in what seemed like overnight, the entire market collapsed into itself due to over saturation and greed in the mid to late 90’s. Limited variants and exclusives became the norm, opposed to the exception, and thus became uninteresting. The landscape shifted soon thereafter, and collecting in general became a bit taboo. Enter 2003, where my collecting fire was reignited. After spending years spinning records and being entrenched in vinyl, my obsession became clear, wax! As we all know, there is nothing comparable to dropping the needle on some wax and drifting away into your own space. A personal space that only a select few are invited to, a safe haven of sorts. Which always reminded me of one constant, the music is the gatekeeper. However, in our current state, limited color pressings, exclusive box sets, and a slick and alternative cover have seem to become more important than the actual tunes on the wax. Vinyl collecting these days has eerily similar traits to those 90’s epic fails, Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t love some colored wax, and a limited run, but at what expense. Somehow the actual music seems to be getting lost more and more in translation, if the wax were considered the language. I read somewhere the other day that vinyl collecting is on it’s way to becoming an elitist activity, due to the exorbitant secondary market prices that wax can fetch. Although it can be exciting for us all to own a collectable and valuable treasure, the true value doesn’t lie in aesthetics. The true gold is lurking in the least tangible part of it all; the music!
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